Christ, Your Words of Love Confound Us

Tune: BEACH SPRING D ("God Whose Giving Knows No Ending") The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White

Christ, your words of love confound us,
even as we give you praise,
for the lessons that you teach us seem
so far from this world’s ways.
How can we love those who hate us?
How can we love enemies?
What of people who abuse us? 
How can we love even these?

Make us mindful: love is action,
not a feeling that uplifts. In each daily situation,
love’s the greatest of all gifts.
It’s the wiser, stronger person
who will break the chain of hate.
Love can usher in redemption;
love can make a people great.

Faced with those who seek to hurt us,
make us confident and free:
you don’t call us to be helpless
but to stand with dignity.
Lord, when others are demanding,
may we know they matter more than
our money or possessions.
May we share, not keeping score.

If we love just those who love us,
where’s the giving? Where’s the grace?
Even sinners try to do this;
they have friends that they embrace.
May we do, Lord, unto others
as we’d have them also do.
You have shown us: Love is action. 
May we love, and make things new.

Biblical Reference: Luke 6:27-38; Matthew 5:38-48; I Corinthians 13
Text: Copyright © 2019 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

This hymn includes insights from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "Loving Your Enemies” sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Nov. 17, 1957. The sermon is available online at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University:

Permission is given for free use of this hymn by congregations that support Sojourners.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of over 400 hymns that have been sung by thousands of congregations around the world, and are found in 20 books and thousands of web sites, including Many of her hymns are published at Sojourners and are also found in Christian Century magazine, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and PBS-TV. She and her husband Bruce are Presbyterian ministers who have served congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. View the Sojourners video on Carolyn's hymns here.

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